Anuket (Anqet, Anukis, Anket, Anjet) was a Goddess and personification of the Nile in Upper Egypt around the Aswan area.
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Friday, 26 May 2017

Anuket - Goddess of the Nile

Anuket - Goddess of the Nile

Anuket - Goddess of the Nile

Anuket (Anqet, Anukis, Anket, Anjet) was a Goddess and personification of the Nile in Upper Egypt around the Aswan area. Originally a daughter of the sun god Ra, she later formed a triad with Khnum and Satis, as either a divine daughter or wife to Khnum. Her main cult centre was at Elephantine.

Depictions

Anuket was depicted as a woman with a tall headdress made of either reeds or ostrich feathers. She is often shown holding the ankh symbol and a sceptre. Very occasionally she is depicted in the form of a gazelle.  She was given various titles including; She Who Embraces, Lady of Heaven, Mistress of the Gods, Lady of Setet Island and Mistress of Nubia. She was thought to hold the Nile in her arms. As well as being a water goddess, she was also a goddess of the hunt whose sacred animal was the gazelle.

As a Goddess of the Nile she was linked to the yearly inundation of the Nile, which brought nourishment, fertility and prosperity. It's thought that her name signified 'to surround', 'to embrace' and that it had reference to the embracing and nourishing of the fields by the river.

Cult Centres

Her cult can be traced back to the Old Kingdom in Upper Egypt, where her main centres of worship were around the cataracts and islands around Aswan and in particular Setet (Sehel) and Abu (Elephantine). She was also worshiped throughout Lower Nubia, and was not a goddess confined to Egypt itself.

Her temple on Setet was called Amen-Hery-Ab - Amen's Heart is Content, she also had a temple on Philae (Iat-Rek) called Per-Mer - House of Love. At Philae she was identified with Nephthys.

During the New Kingdom, Anuket’s cult at Elephantine included a river procession of the goddess during the first month of Shemu. Inscriptions mention the processional festival of Khnum and Anuket during this time period. Ceremonially, when the Nile started its annual flood, the Festival of Anuket began. People threw coins, gold, jewellery, and precious gifts into the river, in thanks for the life-giving water and returning benefits derived from the wealth provided by her fertility to the goddess.

Correspondences

Animal: Gazelle
Astral Body:
Body:
Colour: Dark Browns, Black
Day: Saturday
Festivals: Festival of Anuket
Flower:
Gems:
Minerals:
Month: May
Musical Instrument:
Perfume:
Tarot: The Empress
Tree:
Weapon: Spear

Keywords: Balance, Material Needs, Prosperity, Wealth, Fertility

Bibliography
A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart
Egypt, Myths and Legends, Lewis Spence
A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Margaret Bunson
Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch
Anqet, The Embracer, Goddess of Fertility and the Nile at Aswan, Caroline Seawright

[Image: Jeff Dahl, CC-SA-3.0, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jeff_Dahl]

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